'SNL' riffs on Russia probe, criticizes Al Franken

'SNL' riffs on Russia probe, criticizes Al Franken
'SNL' riffs on Russia probe, criticizes Al Franken

"Saturday Night Live" took a page from old-school spy thrillers this week, kicking off the show with a cloak-and-dagger operation involving Julian Assange and the Trump sons.

The cold open imagined a meeting between WikiLeaks founder Assange (Kate McKinnon), Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) and Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) in a shadowy garage, recalling the Deep Throat scene in "All the President's Men."

Riffing on the news that Trump Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, Day's Trump Jr. asked for "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. Moffat's Eric Trump didn't seem to follow the conspiratorial intrigue, referring to Assange as "Julliard Massage" and likening him to "Harry Potter" villain Draco Malfoy.

"Eric, that was rude," Day's Trump Jr. scolded. "What did we say about making fun of people's appearances, bud?"

"That's dad's thing?" Moffat's Eric Trump responded.

In the end, McKinnon's Assange handed over a manila folder filled with what he called a "treasure trove of hacked DNC emails." Day's Trump Jr. promptly stuffed the documents into his brother's Minions backpack.

"SNL" also criticized U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. — a notable alumnus of "SNL" — who was accused this week of forcibly kissing and groping a radio news anchor a decade ago during a USO trip. A photo shows Franken grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping on a plane and wearing a military protective vest.

"I know this photo looks bad, but remember: It also is bad," Colin Jost, co-anchor of "Weekend Update," said.

"And sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school," Jost said. "It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.'"

But ripped-from-the-headlines humor largely took a backseat for most of the episode. Chance the Rapper, making his hosting debut, set a cheerful tone during a high-energy monologue.

"I've been here before as a musical guest, but this is the first time I've had to, like, talk and stuff," the Grammy-winning artist joked.

Chance, whose name is Chancelor Bennett, told the audience he had pledged to donate $1 million dollars to Chicago public schools. "The only problem is, I talked to my accountant, and I do not have it," the Windy City native said.

The solution: Chance had to "make some serious cash" with a holiday hit, just like Christmas season mainstay Mariah Carey. He launched into a clever ditty about Thanksgiving, backed by some "SNL" cast members and a church choir of turkeys. The tune was dedicated to the "outcasts and weirdos" in every American family.

The musical guest this week was Eminem, who made headlines last month with a rap video in which he attacked President Trump.

NBC News

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